July 18th, 2008


[Friday] "You're so friendly." -CAUMC!Eric

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sexonastick, I saw a bit about Abby Wambach on ESPN's Sports Center this morning and thought of you.

CNN's This American Morning had Larry Elder (conservative) and Mike Papantonio (liberal) talking about Obama and McCain, and Elder talked about how Obama is a media darling, and Papantonio said that Obama has charisma, and I facepalmed.  I mean, do you remember wooden Al Gore in 2000?  I don't think you want to say that whoever has the best cult of personality should get to be Leader of the Free World.  He also said that McCain is just repeating the same Bush stuff that people tired of and that the media want someone with new ideas, but while he kept repeating that he also kept repeating the charisma thing.
      Elder also gave some stat about Obama getting 114 minutes of media coverage (in a given week maybe?) and McCain getting less than half of that and I thought, "But if it's all about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright furor, for example, does Obama really gain from that coverage?  I'm not sure that the Hollywood 'any publicity is good publicity' applies here."
    I was also really thrown when after like two minutes of this heated argument, Kiran was like, "Well it was great to have you with us."


MaryAlice had lunch in the Square today and when she came back she was all red and sweaty.  She said walking to the Square today was a bad idea.  I said that was, unfortunately, my afternoon plan (Prof.D. wanted a bunch of articles by Monday, and I couldn't find full text of some of them online).  She said to walk SLOWLY, that she knows I'm young and fit, but the air was like breathing through a sponge.  Now, we know that hot&humid makes me just wither, but while I was always pleased to enter the air-conditioning I was really fine.

    I went to Gutman, Widener (Pusey 3! -- also, sidebar, I saw E.Sherlock working there), and Countway (hi, mom -- and the M2 terminates at Sami's!).
    Countway has copiers with scanning capability so, like with our copiers, you can have your photocopies sent to your email address as a multipage PDF attachment (for free! win).  I chatted with the circ guy, who might well be gay (hi, he had two small hoop earrings in his left ear), and who is doing the Simmons library science program (he has "mixed feelings" about it and commented that it's hard to make the adjustment that this is not an academic program but a professional one).  Apparently academic libraries don't want you to reshelve books not just because most people are incompetent but also for tracking purposes, which I hadn't thought of but which makes sense when so much of your collection is noncirculating.
    On the way back I hopped off at Putnam 'cause it's where Nicole lives, so I figured it would be more efficient to just cut over to JFK from there rather than doubling back.  Except I took Putnam rather than Mt. Auburn.  After a few blocks I knew I must have done something wrong, but I wasn't gonna turn onto some street I didn't know, and I figured eventually I'd hit something I recognized.  Well, I hit Western, and I knew I didn't wanna deal with that, so I just turned around (I'd only been walking ~5min) 'cause I was not gonna just keep walking to Central (I recognize the jazz silhouettes on the white house from when MaryAlice drove me to and from Carberry's, so I knew I was headed to Central even before I saw the sign for Western).  I underestimated how far one has to walk on Mt. Auburn from Nicole's place to get to JFK, so possibly I wouldn't have saved myself any time anyway, but hey, getting a better sense of where things are in relation to each other . . . plus bonus scenic walk.
    Once I crossed the bridge, it was quite breezy and almost pleasant.

Oh, and speaking of navigating the environs of Harvard . . . within the past week or so, HBS put a campus map (complete with You Are Here) at the rotary at the parking lot finally.  Bravo.

I got back to the office at like ten past five (having left at like 2pm) and stayed for about twenty minutes, wrapping some stuff up but mostly just puttering and enjoying the AC before venturing out again.

I wanted a fruit smoothie and was trying to think of where I could get one.  I've been getting one of the $3.05 ones from Spangler like every other day recently, but summer hours they're closed at 4pm.  I haven't seen the fruit smoothie vendors in ages, and I only saw the spray paint guy like once this spring -- what up?  I remembered that Boloco has fruit smoothies (though I've only gotten their Nutella one).  Though once I was there in the AC I ended up getting a peanut butter based one ("Jimmy Carter," huh?).  I was hungry, so I also ordered a "Summer" burrito, which I ended up only eating half of.  There were onions, which I was not warned about, but I think the cilantro or something also made it too flavorful for me.  And as a sidenote I was underwhelmed by the rice.
    I also used a futuristic ATM (no envelope necessary for deposits) next door.

When I helped with the promotional mailing for the "Secret Knowledge of Water" [hey look, it does have a webpage of its own . . . way to fail at linking that from the gallery webpage] opening, Katherine had, um, strongly suggested that I attend -- I think she was worried no one would show up (and Karl curated it).  It was from 6-8 and I got there around 6:45.  There were plenty of people there, and I thought, "On a night like this, I'm not sure more warm bodies is really something you want," but I used the restroom, checked out the exhibit, and hung out 'cause there was food and drink.  Katherine was putting food on a table and I came up behind her and put my plastic cup full of ice water against the back of her neck.  She may have shrieked like a little girl.  I was like, "Hi O:-) "
    Later she was talking to a woman who was talking about a workshop she'd been in all week about interpretive Torah telling and I perked up.  She turned out to be one of the artists, but she had done one of the pieces I actually liked.  (I didn't actively dislike much if any of the artwork, but a lot of it I just wasn't impressed by, but I quite liked her piece in and of itself.)  I was pleased to hear it was part of a series about the Exodus story.
      The artist (Jane) asked if I was a member of this church, and I said that I was here because I went to this church but I'm actually affiliated with four churches and a member of none.  Liz facetiously said, "But we're you're favorite, right?" and I said, "No you're not."  I worried that it came out sounding harsher than I intended, but she totally loved it.  She felt bad that "I've known you for how long?" and she didn't know this about me (that I'm affiliated with a whole bunch of churches).  She was fascinated by this and asked if I had always been interested in faith.  I said not really, that my church growing up was nondenominational and had a pastor whose sermons put me to sleep so I rarely actually went to service, helping take care of the little kids instead, and my first year of college I didn't go to church but my sophomore year I felt like I should and I just picked a convenient one that said "Open and Affirming" on its front sign.  I talked about how words like "book" will totally win me and so I went to a book study that church was doing jointly with a church around the corner and I sometimes went to services at the college chapel when they sounded interesting and my senior year I attended RCFOS because I no longer had a conflicting commitment.  I've never actually told the story of the development of my churchgoing -- usually I just talk about church shopping when I moved to Somerville -- so I felt like I was discovering the story as I told it; I've gotten so used to being All Church All The Time, it feels so "me," that I forget that it's a really recent development.  She summed it up saying I'm very "curious," which makes sense to me.

There was an audio-visual program at 8pm in the sanctuary, also connected with the gallery opening, which I sat in on a few minutes of, but I wasn't blown away by it and was tired so I headed out around 8:15.

I walked by a house just two down from mine, and a couple was out front watering their garden, and I stopped to tell them that their garden looked lovely.  We got talking and the guy asked me where I lived and I told him (explaining that I was moving in just a couple weeks) and he asked how long I'd lived here and somewhat sheepishly I said two years.
    I'm so bad at being neighborly.  My DAD knew our neighbors, in both houses we lived in.  And my dad is probably the least socially-oriented person I have ever met.  Though I suppose having kids helps.
      Anyway, their names are Al and Deb, and they barbecue (she grills veggies, too -- I chose not to mention what a picky eater I am) and we were all sorry that we were only meeting just now but I will definitely be leaving my contact info and look forward to getting together after I move if not before.
    Edit: I forgot to mention that they've lived here about 12 years and the woman, who grew up Presbyterian, has been meaning to go to CHPC either for church or to check out the gallery like since she moved here. The guy grew up Catholic and said he had gone to a Presbyterian service with her once and loved the open table etc. stuff -- said when he was Catholic he was like, "Did I do confession last night? Did I eat within the last three hours?" I said a friend of mine had an interest in Orthodoxy and I came to appreciate the idea behind that -- that Communion is a special way that we connect with God and wanting to honor that, but that it's so easy for the intentionality (okay, I didn't actually use that word) to get lost and for it to become this thoughtless rulebound thing. /edit

I got home about 8:40.


I finished my reread of The Egypt Game and it held up really well.  Though I am very wary about The Gypsy Game.
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P.S. From phineasjones: coconut milk ice cream!  Doesn't that sound so deliciously decadent?  Plus, it has no dairy or soy.